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Sportswear veteran Chris Lee is to relaunch Slazenger Heritage under licence for spring 10. Lee, who previously led the fashion lifestyle division of JJB Sports, which included the now defunct Original Shoe Co and Qube chains, will revive the brand under his own newly formed company Microbrands. He has acquired the European licence for the brand from International Brand Management, which is owned by Sports Direct.
Lee, who also owns online branded lifestyle independent Microzine, said the new collection would initially focus on men’s classics such as v-necks, polos and cardigans, before expanding next year to add trend-driven styles and womenswear. He said: “Slazenger clothing was big in the 1980s but it went off the radar as it focused on equipment. We’ve done base-level classic pieces initially but the brand has been going since 1881 so there is a lot of potential we can draw from in the archives.”
A pre-launch capsule collection has been unveiled for autumn 09 and will be sold exclusively via Urban Outfitters and www.microzine.co.uk. The distribution will then be kept tight. Lee said Size?, Selfridges, My-wardrobe.com and selected indies were among the target accounts for the spring 10 collection, which will hit stores in January. He said: “We will focus on the UK initially. We have had interest from Germany but I don’t see the need to actively go to Europe until we are established here.”
Pricing will be kept in line with Slazenger’s previous market position, with retail prices ranging from £39.99 for a basic polo to £74.99 for a pima cotton roll neck. It will sit alongside brands such as Original Penguin and Lyle & Scott. The spring 10 collection will be marketed under the Slazenger Heritage Gold and Classic Sport labels and focus on 1970s- and 1980s-inspired classics. A silver label range will be added next year and will feature more colour and trend-led pieces. A black label will then be introduced in 2012, which will take a more futuristic slant with high-performance fabrics and design-led pieces.
Womenswear will be introduced for autumn 10, featuring fitted dresses and knitwear. Lee plans to market all ranges through tie-ups with music bands and TV presenters.